Would you run around the entire coast of the UK in the winter with all you need in a backpack… not in a support vehicle, not with a camera crew, not with a team of others… just you? Does it sound like your idea of heaven..? Or hell?

One of the cool things about us humans is how varied we are in our passions. How different things make each of us happy. And yet we’re expected to shoe horn ourselves in to a way of being and a way of doing to satisfy some imagined criteria… like being the perfect size, being the product of an ‘old boys network’ school, being the ‘correct’ sort of parent… you name it and there will be criteria to match.

Life is a Bitch!

So what is life for? Is it true that life’s a bitch and then you die? What do you think? And how has what you think shaped your life? Or hasn’t it?

Some people believe life has no meaning whatsoever and that life is just a cataclysmic accident. Other people believe it has meaning and we have to find out what that is. Maybe it’s just for having fun, for building vast wealth, leaving a legacy, making an impact, over-coming the odds…There is a thought that each one of us is an aspect of the All-That-Is and that as we experience life we are tiny conduits to this All, allowing it to also experience every nuance that life has to offer.

Elise Downing has decided that she’s going to do what makes her happy. Having left University in 2014 and already packed a good number of travels under her belt like wild camping in Sweden and trekking in India and on to Everest Base Camp, she’s realised that pushing herself physically and being out of doors are two things guaranteed to bring a smile to her face. So, while most of us in the UK are turning up the thermostat and hunkering down in cosy rooms, Elise started running the entire length of the UK coast on 1st November. Pushing off from Greenwich and keeping the sea to her left she expects to complete in August 2016! If you’re in the UK and want to lend your support you can join her for a bit of a jog, buy her some cake or donate through her website to Beyond Food or Young Minds.

15 short miles turned into 17 long miles after I got completely lost and had to be rescued by a farmer who gave me a lift back to the path on his tractor. I eventually made it to Sidmouth though to be greeted by the whole Young family who were armed with motivational signs, a flask of tea and more brownies! What a welcome. virginmoneygiving.com/runthecoast

Posted by Elise Downing – Run the Coast on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

At Outer Travels Inner Journeys we may not want to run vast distances but we love taking people to explore ancient sites, extraordinary enigmatic temples, sacred landscapes shaped by the music of the Gods and journey within guided by the wisdom of the most profound teachers like Ayahuasca, Wachuma, Iboga.. . We believe that life is for learning, experiencing it’s magic and that we can all live in accordance with our true nature if given the chance. When we step beyond the boundary of who we think we should be, or even who we think we are, then we have the opportunity to make life up in any way we see fit. That’s an amazing thing about life, that however little choice we have, we are ultimately always at choice… one way or another. We can stay or we can go, whether that’s related to a job, a home, a relationship or even life itself.

So what’s good about death? As Alan Watts, the mesmerising philosopher, writer and speaker known for interpreting Eastern philosophy for us to understand and appreciate here in the West explained, if we can surrender to death before we actually die then we get the clarity of what life is all about and an experience we wouldn’t miss for the world! In fact we actually wouldn’t want to live forever. At some point each one us would feel it was time to let go, move on, hand the torch to someone else. That’s the good thing about death – it’s our doorway out of life when the magic has ceased to sparkle for us. In Alans own wonderful words,
‘…in the course of nature once we have ceased to see magic in the world anymore we’re no longer fulfilling natures game of being aware of itself – no point in it anymore and so we die’.

So… has the magic disappeared and will you choose to leave this mortal coil, or are you still delighting in the world? If you’re staying around what magic will you choose to revel in this next year?